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Welcome to the Post-Covid Hotel: Why things don't go as usual when British hotels open on July 4th


Welcome to the Post-Covid Hotel: The next month may not come early enough for British hoteliers – but it will not go on as usual

  • The hotels are preparing to welcome three-quarter guests back to open on July 4th
  • Check-in times are likely to be delayed or scheduled later in the afternoon to allow for thorough room cleaning
  • Expect thorough cleaning with a focus on contact points such as door handles, light switches and telephones
  • Here's how you can help people affected by Covid-19

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Across the country, hotels are preparing to welcome guests after the closures forced by the corona virus.

"Three quarters of hotels say they can open until July 4th," said Adam Raphael, editor of the Good Hotel Guide (goodhotelguide.com), which independently reviews 850 hotels, inns and B & Bs in the UK and Ireland .

Many of us can hardly wait to exchange the pressure of the closure for the civilized comfort of a country house hotel or a boutique hideaway, albeit in the new travel landscape of face masks, temperature controls and social distance.

Many of us can’t wait to swap the pressures of a hotel night’s ban, but they’ll look very different when they reopen

Will they still be fun? And worth our money?

The following awaits you:

THE NEW CHECK-IN

  • After making your reservation, expect a health questionnaire to end up in your inbox before your visit. You are asked to confirm that you do not have any coronavirus symptoms and have not been in contact with those who do.
  • Payment can be made before arrival, often with a generous cancellation or rebooking policy. All transactions are carried out without contact. An invoice will be sent to you by email at check-out. Guests are encouraged to use hotel apps and tablets.
  • Check-in times are likely to be delayed or scheduled later in the afternoon to allow for thorough room cleaning. In the seven-headed collection of The Pig Hotels in the south west of England, for example, this has changed from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Check-in times are likely to be delayed or scheduled later in the afternoon to allow for thorough room cleaning

Check-in times are likely to be delayed or scheduled later in the afternoon to allow for thorough room cleaning

THE INSPECTOR SAYS …

Dusters are outside, lawns mowed, bathrooms scrubbed, and snow-white pillows plump – though the government has not yet said how hotels can be operated next month.

More importantly, there is no indication of when the two-meter rule could be changed to one meter, which makes a big difference in getting hospitality back on its feet.

So, full marks for all preparations – and I am convinced that the welcome by British hoteliers will be very effective. Some of the new measures we take to protect ourselves don't sound romantic, but we will adapt and hopefully they will be watered down soon.

Silver lining? Well, there will be no queuing at the toaster and no eavesdropping on guests at the next table that is too close for comfort. We can coo (or row) in peace.

It is important that we book as soon as possible and make our contribution to help.

  • Don't expect valet parking and be ready to take your own luggage with you. The employees support the guests of the posh, 470 hectare Beaverbrook estate in Surrey. All cases are disinfected upon arrival.
  • Temperature tests are standard. At the Hampton Manor in Warwickshire, opening July 7th. The lobby is monitored by a temperature camera scanner that can test 30 guests at the same time.
  • Can't find anyone at the front desk? That could be the hotel policy. "Our desk will be unmanned, but it has to ring a bell," explains The Eastbury in Dorset. The staff then guides the guests to their room "where your keys (freshly cleaned) are waiting".
  • You don't have to wear a face mask, although this is recommended in some hotels and offers many free PPE kits with a mask, gloves, wipes, and hand sanitizer.

PUBLIC AREAS

  • Restaurants, lounges and common areas are being reconfigured to do what some hoteliers like to call "physical distancing". "We prefer this term," explains Robin Hutson, CEO of Lime Wood in the New Forest, "so you don't feel like you don't like interacting with the team."
  • Protective shields, distance marking lines and one-way streets can be implemented in larger properties such as Bovey Castle with 60 rooms in Devon. Where there are lifts, guests are asked to travel as household groups and only to climb.

BUDGETARY RULES

  • Expect thorough cleaning with a focus on contact points such as door handles, light switches, telephones and the TV remote control. Where practicable, the rooms are left empty before reuse – in some cases up to 72 hours – and sealed before entering.
  • Newspapers, magazines and other reading material are removed, as are well-known functions such as minibars and ironing boards. Services such as laundry, babysitting and extra beds are withdrawn, and even pets are affected. Guests checking in with a dog must now bring their own bed.
  • Housekeepers are expected to be the heroes of the hospitality industry, though you may never see them. If you don't stay four nights or longer, your hotel is unlikely to offer cleaning during your stay. Bags with fresh supplies will be provided in front of the door for your used towels.

TO EAT AND DRINK

The days of breakfast at the breakfast buffet seem to be over, as breakfast has to be pre-ordered the night before in a hotel

The days of breakfast at the breakfast buffet seem to be over, as breakfast has to be pre-ordered the night before in a hotel

  • Unfortunately, the days in which you can have fun at the breakfast buffet and feast on luscious "pasture tables" are over or at least on hold. Instead, timed reservations for all meals are the norm. Guests are asked to read the à la carte menu online.
  • "Breakfast is pre-ordered the night before," said Chris Hardwicke, general manager of The Bird, Bath, with 31 rooms. "Our evening menu will be shorter and we are considering themed evenings like" Fish and Chips "with a hotel app that can be ordered and paid for in advance."
  • Dining tables are arranged so that they comply with the two-meter rule and are probably without bed linen. Guests eating at the expensive New Forest's Chewton Glen will find they lack salt and pepper shakers (available upon request) while cocktails are made with batch ingredients to limit product handling.
  • The bars are only served at the table, with the focus on eating and drinking outdoors on patios and in courtyards. There is a larger selection of takeaway and picnic food on the premises
  • Room service is also recommended as many accommodations lower the tray fee. The menu selection is probably limited and delivery is only made to the bedroom door.

TIME TO PLAY

Hotel pools should be open, but you may need to book a private space and follow a one-way system

Hotel pools should be open, but you may need to book a private space and follow a one-way system

  • Children's clubs are mostly operated outdoors when the weather permits. Luxury Family Hotels, which has five hotels in England, plans to increase the number of "Den" sessions registered by Ofsted, but will reduce the number of children participating.
  • Would you like a bath? The pool should be open, but you may need to book a private space and follow a one-way system. You may need to change clothes in your room.
  • Once government guidelines for using spas and fitness centers have been published, you can expect screens, deckchairs two meters apart, and a 30-minute cleaning break between treatments.

And the good news. . .

If all of this sounds off-putting, do not underestimate the determination of hoteliers to create a joyful atmosphere and make this challenging situation work.

"We can no longer warmly greet you with a handshake," said Nick Hanson, general manager of the Mallory Court Country House Hotel near the Leamington Spa, which opens on July 17. "But rest assured, we'll raise our imaginary hat." and look forward to welcoming you. & # 39;

  • Unless otherwise noted, all of the hotels listed are planning to open on July 4th, subject to government announcements. You can find more accommodation options including special offers at goodhotelguide.com.

HERE ARE THE OFFERS AT HOTELS IN THE UK

Three nights for two until August 31st at Lastingham Grange, a Yorkshire country house hotel. B&B doubles from £ 220 (lastinghamgrange.com).

Three nights for two from July 4th to the end of 2020 at Little Barwick House, a restaurant with rooms in Somerset. B&B double rooms from £ 130 (littlebarwick.co.uk).

Four nights for three until March 2021 at Lords of the Manor, a hotel in the Cotswolds in Gloucestershire. Double rooms from £ 199 including dinner and breakfast (lordsofthemanor.com).

Lords of the Manor, a hotel in the Cotswolds in Gloucestershire. Double rooms here from £ 199 including dinner and breakfast

Lords of the Manor, a hotel in the Cotswolds in Gloucestershire. Double rooms here from £ 199 including dinner and breakfast

Four nights for three from July 4th to late March 2021 at the Park House Hotel, including dinner and breakfast, in Sussex near South Downs National Park. Double rooms from £ 195 (parkhousehotel.com).

From August 1st to late 2020, save 20 percent on trips of three nights or more on Rufflets in St. Andrews, Scotland. Double rooms from £ 338 per night (rufflets.co.uk).

Get the second half-price night through September 13 at Southernhay House in central Exeter, Devon. Double rooms from £ 162 a night (Southernhayhouse.com).

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